HC Deb 13 July 1857 vol 146 cc1419-21

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."


said, he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would not press the Bill at that late hour. When the Bill was last before the House, he represented to the Secretary for Ireland that it was a measure in which the people of Dublin were deeply interested, and it should not pass without giving them the fullest opportunity of considering its provisions. The Corporation of Dublin had stated by petition many objections to the Bill, and they complained that not even the heads of the Bill had been submitted to them previous to its introduction to Parliament. If the Bill was read a second time that night he did not think it could pass during the present Session, especially as he should consider it to be his duty to give it his most strenuous opposition. He begged to move as an Amendment that the Bill be read a second time that day three months.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day three months:"

Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."


said, that nineteen days had elapsed since the Bill was printed and distributed amongst hon. Members, so that the hon. and learned Gentleman could hardly say there was any surprise. In deference to the Corporation of Dublin he last year withdrew the Bill, and had since, after carefully examining their petition, and the speeches of those hon. Members who then opposed it, expunged from it every objection of which they complained. The hon. and learned Gentleman had not pointed out a single objection to the measure as it now stood, and which merely consolidated into one Act all that was really useful in the nine separate and conflicting Acts by which the Dublin police was at present regulated. It also proposed to do away with one of the three existing Police Offices, and thereby effect a saving of £4,000 a year, and to reduce the number of police magistrates from seven to five, increasing, however, on account of the extra labour thus imposed on them, the salaries of the remaining five from £600 to £800 per annum. There was, in the Bill, no provision for extending the power of the police, but the real wish of the Corporation of Dublin was to place the whole charge of the force upon the finances of the country, which already bore one half the cost, for they asked to have the Dublin police placed upon the same footing as the Irish constabulary, or else themselves to have the control of that body. ["Hear, hear," from Mr. BUTT], The hon. and learned Member for Youghal cheered that proposal, but was he willing that, in return for being entrusted with such control, the ratepayers of Dublin should bear the whole cost of their own police? The Bill merely consolidated the law, and was in all respects a very beneficial Act, enabling the meanest capacity to understand what the police law of Dublin was by reducing a very complicated law into the provisions of one Bill. He certainly should press the Bill to a second reading.


thought that, if the Government had the management of the police, they ought to pay all the expenses attendant thereupon, though if he were a citizen of Dublin he should be willing to pay any extra expense to have the control of that force, for at present the inhabitants of that city were subject to much vexatious tyranny at their hands. There was a case in Dublin of a man being dragged off by a police-constable for using obscene language, and when the constable was asked what the language was, he replied that the man had actually "d—d the police." There were most objectionable powers reenacted in the Bill, and one of them was with regard to obscene language. He should oppose the second reading of the Bill.


denied that the Attorney General had any authority for stating that the Bill was similar to the Bill of last year, except that the objectionable clauses had been struck out. The Amendments of the Attorney General had not removed all the objections to the Bill. The Attorney General had not, as he should have done, consulted those who last year made the objections to the Bill. The Attorney General, before he brought in a Bill affecting the municipal laws of Dublin, ought to have given full notice. It appeared, however, that the authorities of the city of Dublin had been taken quite by surprise by the present Bill.


said, it was his intention of giving the strongest possible opposition to the Bill in all its future stages. The Bill had been referred to a committee of the Corporation in Dublin, and they had not had time to report. The members of the corporation had urged him and his colleague to take every possible step to arrest the further progress of the Bill. He would suggest, however, whether it would not be better to bring the Bill in next Session, and then refer it to a Select Committee, or at all events to refer it to a Committee during the present Session.


said, the Bill had been printed nineteen days, and had been before the House during the whole of that time. Not one single substantial objection had been made to the Bill. Under the circumstances he hoped the House would consent to the second reading. His hon. and learned Friend would be prepared to entertain any suggestions before it went into Committee.


said, there was the strongest objection among the people of Dublin to an increase of power being invested in the commissioners of police in that city.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 155; Noes 19: Majority 136.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read 2o, and committed for To-morrow.